The New England Patriots drew the short end of the stick in the overall bad officiating in Thursday’s Thanksgiving road clash with the Minnesota Vikings.
Yes, this is a sour grapes post, but stay with me because there’s plenty of video evidence to back it up.
Let’s start with the fact that it was an incredible game with the Patriots losing to a talented Vikings team that should be considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Kevin O’Connell, a former Patriot, has done a tremendous job of taking an already good football team and turning it into an elite one. The Patriots felt some of that with the defensive front getting stifled and the secondary consistently beaten by Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson.
You have to tip your hat and give credit where it’s due.
But then there were those plays that made you want to take off that hat and throw it at the television screen. The officiating was messy at Minnesota with potentially game-changing calls going completely unnoticed. Here are five blatantly missed calls in the Patriots and Vikings game.
No holding on the kick-off touchdown return
Kyle Dugger was right there to make a play on Vikings return man Kene Nwangwu, but he obviously couldn’t because C.J. Ham had himself a fistful of jersey. This might have been the most devastating missed call of the night considering it led to Nwangwu turning the ball upfield and scoring a touchdown.
It was the greatest Thanksgiving feast of all time on Thursday night with the Vikings dining on turkey as the main course meal and Dugger’s jersey as the side dish. Bon Appetit.
Multiple fouls on one play
Come on, man.
Matthew Slater got pushed from behind with the force of a Kamehameha Wave from Goku himself. Look at that man hit the ground, roll around and then bounce back up with the elegance of Chazz Michael Michaels on ice, only to get held and pushed around some more.
This wasn't a touchdown? Are you serious?
Yeah, yeah—we all heard the explanation from NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson, but it still doesn’t change the fact that Hunter Henry’s touchdown reception was a catch. The man literally reached over the white line with the football in hand.
Why are we making this so difficult? There is no need for the process of catching a football and scoring a touchdown to feel like it needs to be broken down into quantum physics. Not even Shuri from The Black Panther could figure out what counts as a catch in the NFL these days.
The human backpack penalty
It must have been take your favorite offensive lineman to school day because Vikings offensive guard Ezra Cleveland got a full ride to no-call land in Thursday’s game. That was obviously after the full-on hook around to keep Kirk Cousins from getting sacked.
But then again, you have to respect Cleveland’s effort to do everything he could to protect the most dripped out quarterback in football.
Apparently, grabbing Mac Jones' facemask doesn't matter
The officials called two facemask penalties on Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones in this game, but Patriots quarterback Mac Jones couldn’t even get one call.
Not only did Danielle Hunter grab Mac’s facemask, but he spun him around with little to no effort at all because, well, he’s the real-life Incredible Hulk on the football field.
Mac’s arguments after the play fell on deaf ears. Never mind the fact that he was yanked in a full circular motion like Hunter was wanting to have a face-to-face conversation with him.